In his first six months of youth ministry, Andy McGowan was shaken to the core by a tragic string of teen suicides in his community.
Something had to change. He and the youth pastors in his area knew they couldn’t stand by and watch the destruction of more teen lives. These hurting students had to be reached with the love of Christ, and fast.
Andy and some local pastors started meeting weekly to pray for the lost in their community. Then, they trained and unleashed the students in their churches to go out and share the gospel with their friends. Soon, tons of new kids were visiting the youth groups around town, and teens who were once trapped in hopelessness were transformed by the hope of the gospel.
Watch Andy tell his story here:
Training, inspiring, and unleashing teenagers to share the gospel with their hurting friends is what Lead THE Cause is all about. We’re stoked that Andy will be sharing his wisdom and passion with students at the LTC event in Washington, DC this summer! Check out his thoughts on LTC below.
1. Why is evangelism training so important to help teens own their faith?
“Evangelism training like Lead THE Cause releases ministry back to the hands of students. When our teenagers are trained, they are able to better articulate the gospel with fluency, a sense of urgency, and a rhythm of making space to reach their peers on a daily basis.
Evangelism training enables even the smallest youth group to unleash more gospel influence in a school than a large youth group of students who are just observing an event or program.
As the next generation of teenagers is emerging, many teenagers are looking to solve a problem rather than just fulfill a need. There has never been a time when teenage culture is more ready to be handed the solution to the world’s problems—the gospel. We need to hand them the keys and let them drive! Buckle up!”
2. As a lead pastor, how has focusing on gospel advancement changed your church?
“After serving in my church as a youth pastor for nearly a decade, my church moved me to the Lead Pastor position. (Don’t tell anyone, but I am really still a youth pastor with senior pastor clothes on.) For nearly a decade we unleashed students to share their faith in their schools and today some of those students are now married, with kids! Many of my former students are now leading the way as pastors, elders, ministry leaders, and of course, student ministry leaders, equipping our entire church to lead the cause in our entire community.
As a church we print invite cards, offer evangelism training, and give the gospel every single week. In the last few years, we have seen hundreds, from kids to adults, place their faith and trust in Jesus.”
3. What’s the biggest lesson you hope youth leaders learn at LTC?
“The biggest lesson I hope every leader realizes is that no matter the stage of advancing the gospel, we must mobilize our students to do ministry every day. We can’t get comfortable in what we are doing now. Instead, we must visualize the reality that every student can hear about Jesus through the combined influence of our teenagers.
As youth leaders, LTC will challenge you to think outside your paradigm and see how God can use you beyond your current capacity. For many youth leaders, for the first time, they will begin to think strategically about how to enable and mobilize their student ministry to become a Gospel Advancing Movement. Other youth leaders will think through how to build on the foundations laid in the previous years at LTC.
Perhaps that next level is working with senior leadership at the church to see a church-wide movement. For others it will be working with the larger Church in your community as you begin to network to advance the gospel with other youth groups. When the gospel goes out, everything is about to change!”
Your students, your youth group, and your own heart for the gospel will never be the same after a week at Lead THE Cause. Sign up to get your free LTC Info Kit or register your group today to secure your spots for this summer!